Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodger Relic & Autograph Cards

Last, but certainly not least, I take a look at all of the Dodger relic and autograph cards found in 2014 Topps Update.  Go here to find all of my posts related to this set, or here for a complete checklist of the set.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

All Star Stitches

#ASR-CKE Clayton Kershaw                 #ASR-DG Dee Gordon

#ASR-YP Yasiel Puig

Tom Artiaga - "You Are a True Blue Hero"

If you haven't heard this story then here's you chance to catch up. 

Several days ago a video went viral that showed a Dodger-cap wearing good Samaritan running into a burning house in Fresno to save a life.   He went in like the Flash and came out with an older gentleman in tow.  It was an incredible act of selfless bravery.

The hero is a man named Tom Artiaga and he visited with Jimmy Kimmel last night.  Also on-hand was Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda to extends his thanks and to invite him to throw out a first pitch next season.  Watch the video below. 

Video Link:

Pic at the very top via @Dodgers on twitter.

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Blog Kiosk: 10/24/2014 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

Last night Tommy Lasorda visited with Jimmy Kimmel and had an opportunity to meet with Taylor Swift, as evidenced by the photo above tweeted by @TommyLasorda.

Below are some links to check out:
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is the Sporting News MLB Player of the Year for 2014, as selected by a panel of  244 major league players. Kershaw beat Angels superstar Mike Trout by just three votes.
“It’s awesome,” Kershaw said of the honor. “It really is cool to have that respect from other guys in the league. That’s a huge compliment. For my peers to give that to me, that’s awesome.”

  • Via Kevin Nelson at Sports Collectors Digest, "Operation Bullpen Endures, Public Fascination Continues."  I would be very interested in seeing a movie about the largest fraud ever perpetrated in the sports memorabilia hobby.
  • Buster Olney of ESPN tells us a bit about Andrew Friedman's contract on twitter:

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    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Makes a Stupid Hat

    I recently saw the above meme image on a sports social media site called FanCred and almost spit up my lunch. 

    What the heck is this monstrosity?  Who in their right mind would want something like this? 

    Ya know, I get that Dodger fans have gotten behind the Royals.  Heck, I most definitely am rooting for them.  But to make this eyesore of a hat makes me cringe like every episode of 'Between Two Ferns' I've ever seen.  (BTW, if you haven't seen the newest episode with Brad Pitt then do it now.  Here's a link)

    For all I know, I've been trolled and this image in nothing but an elaborate Photoshop creation.  Still, the thought that this may exist or that someone actually thought it up makes me sad.  Very sad, indeed.

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    2014 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodger Insert Cards

    Here are all of the Dodger insert cards found in packs of 2014 Topps Update.  The All Star Access cards at the very bottom are only found in retail packs.  Go here to find all of my post related to this set.  Tomorrow I'll show the various Dodger relic and autograph cards available.

    1989 Topps Minis Die Cut

    #TM-AG Adrian Gonzalez                  #TM-CKE Clayton Kershaw

    2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball - All the Dodger Base Cards

    Here is a last look at Panini's 2014 Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball card set.  The base set is numbered to 100 and includes 100 different players.  But each player in the set has three different variations available that includes a different photo on the front and a completely different reverse.  So, you could either try to complete a 100-card set or work on the difficult task of a completing the 300-card master set.  Furthermore, as is the norm there are numerous parallels available of each variation.  Go here to check out a complete checklist, or go here to check out all of my previous post on this Hall of Fame set from Panini.

    BTW, all three different base cards are numbered to 75.  Parallels include: Red #/50, Blue #/25, Green #/10, Gold #/5, Black 1/1.

    Check out the Dodger cards below.  When possible I have included a pic of the reverse of the card.

    #29 Zack Wheat

    Blog Kiosk: 10/23/2014 - Dodger Links - Kershaw and Gordon Make Sporting News All-Star Team

    Here is a fantastic 1947 AP photo featuring rising star outfielder Pete Reiser with three newly signed Dodger coaches.  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
    Feb 3, 1947.  "REISER SHOWS COACHES.  Pete Reiser (right), star outfielder of the Brooklyn Dodgers, demonstrates batting grip to three newly signed Dodger coaches, left to right: Clyde Sukeforth, Aldoboro, Me., Ray Blades, McLeansboro, Ill.. and Jake Pitler of Binghamton. N.Y., In the Brooklyn, N.Y. office of the Dodgers, Feb. 3."
    I ran into this photo on eBay.  Check it out here.

    Here are some links to check out:
    • Continuing a tradition that goes all the way back to the 1920's, The Sporting News announced their National League All-Star team yesterday, and it includes Clayton Kershaw and Dee Gordon.  Check out their story here.  They even made some fantasy Baseball cards for each player fashioned after the 1954 Topps Baseball card set that are worth a look.  Check out the Dee Gordon on the right.
    • Via Mike Podhorzer at RotoGraphs, "Dee Gordon: The New Juan Pierre?"
    Smartly, Gordon takes full advantage of his speed and complete lack of power by slapping the ball on the ground. But he had a pop-up problem in the past. He got that under control finally and actually posted a lower than average mark. His batted ball profile looks a lot closer to Juan Pierre‘s now, which is where it needs to be. He’ll need a high BABIP though because he strikes out far more than Pierre ever did.
    "Everybody in the dugout was letting me know I was a triple away, so I was going for it," said Sweeney, who had five triples for Double-A Chattanooga last year. "Lance held up the runner because he probably would've gotten thrown out at home. That's just the way the game goes sometimes."
    • Via the Korea Times, "Ryu Hyun-jin reflects on his second season, vows to take better care of his body."
    “I don’t want to go through the same fate next season. I think I am going to have to take care of my body better in the winter. I will start my offseason training earlier than before and focus on preventing injuries.”
    • Via Chris Erskine at the LA Times, "Where Giants are concerned, Dodgers fans have a spite to the finish."  This is a fun article about how much we Dodger fans hate the Giants.
    I think it was God who summed it up best the other day, when he tweeted: "Go Giants! And take the 49ers with you!"
    • Topps newest direct-sale poster print are called "Topps Historic World Series Winners" and below is a pic of the Dodger print.  They are limited to only 99 copies, are already framed and are priced at $74.99.  Go here to check it out
    • So, one of my favorite LA Kings blogs, The Royal Half, recently asked me if they could use some of my photos from a 'Meet the Players' session a couple of years back, so I happily obliged.  I had no idea what they wanted it for, but figured it would be for some sort of collage with a bunch of other fan photos.  Instead, something more hilarious occurred and I can't stop laughing about it.  I got photoshopped out.  LOL!  Check it out here. The ghostly version of me looks like a deformed ET.  Am I right?

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Dan Haren Has Surgery and He Still Hates Fish

    We sure are stretching for any bit of news about the Dodgers, eh?  Heck, even a TMZ tabloid report about Hanley Ramirez's flaming Lambo had fans yearning for more.  So, when the Dodgers revealed, via twitter, that starting pitcher Dan Haren had arthroscopic surgery this morning on his non-throwing shoulder it became BIG news.

    There certainly was plenty of speculation about what this could all mean. 

    Could he really be ready to go come March?  I know it's his other shoulder, but isn't there a risk that we might not have a #4 pitcher ready to go come Opening Day?

    Does this assure that Haren picks up the $10Mil player option to play for the Dodgers in 2015?

    Well, that last question was kinda answered by Haren in a tweet just a moment ago:

    Sneaky, Danny... Sneaky... Or, shall I say fishy? 

    For a second there I thought he broke some news.  Instead, we get a small glimpse into the humor of Dan Haren. 

    As you likely know he ain't kidding about abstaining from seafood.  As Josh Tucker reported on Dodger Insider this past Spring Training, Dan Haren has never eaten fish.  Note a bite.

    Pic at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

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    A Look Back at Former Brooklyn Dodger Ivy Olson

    I was recently cruising around eBay to do some online window shopping when I came across a vintage 1930 press photo from the AP of former Brooklyn Dodger infielder turned coach Ivy Olson.  Check it out above, or check out the eBay auction here.  Since we are in the midst of a Dodger winter and it's likely most of you know nothing about Ivy, I figured I would take a moment to introduce you to him.  Heck, I can't claim to know much about him either, so this post also helps me know a little more about this former Dodger fave.

    A childhood friend of Casey Stengel, Ivy Olson was average sized, average skilled and a larger than life ballplayer who both endeared himself to fans and was the cause of great consternation.  He played Baseball during a time called the 'Deadball Era' - when men treated the game (to borrow a phrase from Ty Cobb) like it's something like a war. 

    (eBay Auction Link)
    Ivy was hard-charging, hard-playing and took no prisoners on the field.  You would often see him in the middle of a scuffle with fist being thrown to and fro, sliding into second base with his spikes coming in high or screaming expletives like a drunken sailor out on leave.  His heart and hustle was obvious, and Brooklyn fans, seeing a little bit of themselves in the man, were immediately smitten.  Of course, this was Brooklyn, so that love often turned to jeers.  After all, Ivy Olson was just an average ballplayer with a propensity for errors at the most inopportune times.

    For instance, during the 1916 World Series against the Boston Red Sox Ivy Olson placed himself in the Baseball record books for the wrong reason.  In the third inning of Game 5 (the final game of the series) Olson made two fielding errors on a single fielding chance; thereby being the first of only two players to have ever done that during a World Series game.  Hilariously, the other man to do it was also a Dodger - Willie Davis in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series.

    Oy Vie!  A play like that would cause twitter to blow up in todays world.

    Ivy Olson played ten season in Brooklyn; from 1915 to 1924.  He was a key component of two pennant winning Dodger teams (1916 and 1920) and currently holds the Dodger franchise single season record for at-bats per strikeout (55.1 in 1922) and is the Dodgers all-time at-bats per strikeout leader (26.8).  In 4,212 Brooklyn at-bats he struck out only 157 times.  Wow!

    If you are looking for a strange tale about Ivy Olson check out the SABR biography by Brian Stevens
    It is said that Olson carried a rulebook in the back pocket of his uniform in each of his 1,574 games. During an umpire's oration, he would take out the book and riffle the pages with a flourish. But he would often get the thumb before he could reach the appropriate reference to the rule in question.
    You should definitely check out Brian Stevens phenomenal biography on Olson to learn even more about him.  Also, in preparing this post I ran into several other Ivy Olson press photographs on eBay and have included them here for you to see.  Links to those auctions are attached to the pics caption. 
    (eBay Auction Link)

    Below are Ivy Olson's career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Couple of Ducks and Raiders

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


    The top two centerman for the Anaheim Ducks will be signing autographs this coming Saturday, October 25th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the OC Dugout in Anaheim.  A portion of the proceeds of each autograph purchase will go to the charity CureDuchenne, a foundation that searches for a cure to muscular dystrophy.  Go here for ordering/ticket information.
    The OC Dugout
    1238 S. Beach Blvd.
    Anaheim, CA 92804


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